What is the next step…?

As scuba diving rapidly continues to grow across the globe, the demand for continuing education courses reaches an all-new high.

Divers are continually looking for ways to expand their diving skills as well as their theoretical knowledge base.

Each year PADI certifies a growing amount of divers who have reached that pinnacle of recreational diving, the “Black belt” of recreational diving, the Master Scuba Diver. Not all of these experienced divers have the opportunity or the desire to move into the professional arm of PADI, but who would still like to continue their training and further develop their personal diving.

There are many dive sites across the world, especially wreck dives, that in order to do them justice requires the diver to sneak into decompression! These are not deep sites that we discuss, we talk about the sites that sit between 25m – 35m, within the recreational divers limits. The frustration for the diver who has had to end his / her dive, not because they were running low on air but because the no decompression limits simply would not give them any more time! (even on nitrox!)

For me the new PADI TecRec programs are perfect for such divers and can certainly prevent such frustration. The courses have been expertly designed to bridge the gap between recreational and technical diving. Introducing the concepts, philosophy, physiology understanding and practical applications to enable these experienced divers to make decompression dives in a controlled, pre planned safe manner. The emphasis on the first level of these TecRec programs; the PADI Tec 40, is not about increasing the depth but educating the divers on the hazards, benefits and procedures for making simple limited decompression dive.

The Tec 40 course will teach you how to make limited decompression dives to a maximum depth of 40m. You will learn how to carry a single stage / decompression tank to increase the safety of the dive, how to monitor your gas consumption much more accurately, how to follow computer software programs for decompression diving, how to use your personal diving computer to its full advantage and how to become a more independent diver.

The course takes only three days and is a mixture of; Theoretical studies, shallow water skills practice, simulated decompression dives and an actual decompression dive. All students wishing to make the course must be:

–     PADI Advanced open water diver (or equivalent)

–     PADI Eanx diver (or equivalent)

–     PADI Deep Diver (or show prove of 10 logged dives to 30m)

–     Prove of 30 logged dives of which 10 dives are deeper than 18m on eanx.

–     Must have a signed medical statement from your Doctor.

This course requires the use of the Tec Deep student manual and some additional handouts provided by your local dive center. The manual is very detailed and will provide you with the knowledge not only for the Tec 40 but also for the next TecRec courses; PADI Tec 45 and PADI Tec 50.

Tekstreme can offer the PADI Tec 40 course out of all three of our technical centres; Sharm El Shiekh, Hurghada and Marsa Alam.

The price for the 3 days course is only 315 euros*

*Does not include manual or certification

So go on then, why not pick up a copy of the manual, have a read though and then lets get wet!

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Another busy month for Tekstreme….

It would seem as though the tourism industry has really began to make its comeback to the Red Sea with another busy month for Tekstreme in both Hurghada and Sharm El Shiekh. The summer temperatures have been beginning to show up, with the wind having less of a cold edge. Both resorts generally have been quiet but yet the divers continue to flock back.

Our first guest of the month Jonathan Goodfellow coming to visit us in Sharm. Jonathan was a BSAC diver who wanted to expand his diving experience into technical diving and planned to make his BSAC Accelerated decompression course, BSAC Sports mixed gas and explorer mixed gas courses under the attentive direction of Chris Armstrong. Jonathan made good progression throughout the courses and proved himself by the end worthy to hold such a mixed gas ticket. Enjoyable dives were had around Ras Mohammed and Tiran. After a few more experience dives hopefully we will see Johnathan back to make his advanced mixed gas course.

Our next two guests, also to Sharm were father and son team Phil and Kieran Sawyer. After chatting with these guys at the dive show they decided to come to Egypt to make their PADI Tec 40 course with Instructor Chris Armstrong.  It was an intensive three days with both of them rising up to the challenges placed upon them by Chris. They both now have the ambition to continue through to Tec 45, and hopefully we will see them back.

Also to Sharm we welcomed Paul Beckett do make his first steps into the silent world of the rebreathers under the supervision of Sarah Woodford. With the current crisis of no oxygen cells on the market we eventually managed to get electronics so that Paul could complete his course!

Unfortunately due to the revolution within in the country the technical safari due for the end of the month was cancelled, but this did not stop Tim Hinterberger still travelling over from Alaska to come and join us to make his PADI Tec 40 and 45 with Instructor Cat. Tim, who had previous experience of twin set diving, made an easy adjustment into decompression diving.

Before long he was making regular deco dives with relative ease. The skills were no problem for Tim had had a good mastery and before you knew it both courses had been completed. Tim now returns to the colder waters of Alaska to show his diving buddies a few things!

Hurghada also saw the return of Andy Sargent and his Inspiration. Andy came to escape UK for the week to make some chilled out, bubble free

deco dives in warmer waters. Tekstreme’s CCR guide Shaun Fox was on hand to take Andy on his underwater tours. Such dive sites visited included; Small Giftun (75m), Erg Somaya (65m), Gulf Fleet wreck (100m). The final wreck dive of the week was a very significant dive for Andy as it was the first time to reach 100m. The dive was perfect, and as he swam under the wreck with Cat you could here very distinctive sounds of an old Cliff Richards song…Congratulations.

At the same tome that Andy was in Hurghada Julien Elliot had come out for a peaceful week of recreational diving with his girlfriend. Julien, also a CCR diver but his time on a Meg, could not resist the temptation of leaving his girlfriend to join the teckies for a few dives. (Sorry for that!!) Julien also had his video camera with him and did manage to get some could footage throughout the week.

Back to Sharm we had a visit by Peter Walker Smith. Peter planned to make the TDI combination of advanced nitrox and deco procedures with Chris Armstrong. After 5 days, celebrations were had all round as he achieved his goal. Well Done Peter.

Finally at the end of the month we saw a very familiar face returning to our door stop…Johan Erikkson. Johan began his technical training in Hurghada. He made is PADI Tec Deep course early 2010, after this he travelled to Sharm to make his PADI Trimix 65 and also his TDI CCR course. Not content with this, and feeling the need for more learning, Johan came back to us to upgrade to a full Trimix diver. Chris put hi through his paces as always and by the end of his stay he was making deeper Trimix dives with ease. Johan did manage to capture a great shot as he followed behind Chris swimming through the blue hole, great photo.

As the month comes to an end we breath a couple of breathes before we start again in May which also looks pretty full!! We are not complaining at all this is all good 🙂

Happy Tech diving

The Tekstreme Team

Latest Red Sea Technical Diving News

Keep up to date with all the Red Sea Diving scuba diving and technical diving action when it happens by following us on Twitter.

With 3 diving locations around the Red Sea, Egypt, make sure you are following all of our most recent tweets on news, courses, safaris, special offers and much much more.

Download Twitter onto your home computer or direct to your mobile phone to receive instant tweets directly to you.

Head to http://www.twitter.com and type in Tekstreme Diving…

Happy Tweeting

The Tekstreme Team

A surprising Month

After all of the recent political activities within Egypt and the Middle East I don’t think that anybody was expecting business to be good!! Surprisingly enough what we saw was that divers are a resilient group of society whose passion for diving will take them to all ends of the world regardless.

Whilst some diving centres had to close their doors Emperor Divers and Tekstreme continued to operate throughout some of the worst times for tourism in Egypt.

We welcomed back Durham Scuba Club to Sharm. Barry Marshall, who previously completed his CCR Mixed gas course in with Instructor Sarah Woodford, was back to put his training into practice and made five days of CCR trimix diving around Ras Mohammed, Tiran and Dahab.

Ruth Dacor from Belgium came out to Hurghada to make her TDI Entry trimix course with Instructor Chris Armstrong. Ruth showed true determination and perseverance to overcome the challenges of the course to successfully become a Trimix diver. Keeping Ruth company in resort was her two CCR trimix diving buddies Sune Jorgensona and Jan Birk. I had the pleasure of guiding the two guys for the week. Gradually we increased the depth leading up the final dive on the Gulf Fleet wreck. That dive marked Jan’s deepest dive to date at 100m. The dive went without drama or problems and proved to be a very easy  going enjoyable dive. Cheers for the week guys, it was a pleasure.

Instructor Pierre, Mark Carter and Matthias Vertommen

Our very own Shaun Fox decided that it was time to continue his CCR training and become a Trimix CCR diver. Shaun decided that the BSAC mixed gas courses were the way forward for him and after an intensive 8 days completed his courses to become an Advanced mixed gas CCR

Shaun Fox, Matthias Vertommen & Mark carter

diver. Chris Armstrong once again at hand to take him through his paces. There were only a few discussions on route to keep things interesting!!

UK PADI Instructor Mark Carter came out to join resident PADI Tec Instructor Pierre Bacot to get him through his PADi Tec 40, 45 and 50. After a thorough 9 days Mark successfully became a Tec 50 tech diver. Well done Mark. Hopefully Mark will be returning to make his Tech instructor levels with us in the summer time. During the stay of Mark we also were joined by Hollands very own Matthias Vertommen. Matthias a newly qualified IANTD recreational trimix diver managed to squeeze in a few days of tech diving with us after his safari. Matthias was very obviously born with a twin set on his back as he looked and dived fantastically. We hope to see him back for further training.

I also found time to put some of the Emperor instructors through their paces with the TDI basic and Advanced Gas blender courses. Congratulations to Terry Ellis, Kelly Cotton and Esta Dosa for when they eventually hand in their exams!!!

March also saw the annual London Dive Show. Many of us fly over to London to represent our companies and meet new customers, welcome back existing companies and do some shopping! Tekstreme were a supporter of the Tek 2011 conference that was running alongside the show. The conference had many big speakers there to educate and provide the most up to date info to the public. The show was quieter than we have seen in other years, but hopefully that wont reflect the year.

As we move into April we hope for another busy month.

Cat Parfitt

Tekstreme – Official Supporter of Tek 2011 – London Dive Show

The London International Dive Show comes to town side by side with TEK 2011 on 26/27 March at ExCeL. Whether you’re a tekkie or just want to extend your diving that bit further, it offers a great chance to explore diving to its outer limits

A two-day technical conference and one of the most exciting preliminary line-ups of main speakers to be confirmed at such an early stage – that’s how the London International Dive Show is getting set to celebrate its 10th anniversary in March 2011.

A number of the speakers are likely to be crossing-over between TEK 2011 and the main presentation rooms. John Garvin is the screenwriter of Sanctum, James Cameron’s 3D follow-up to Avatar, so we’re excited that he has agreed to be at LIDS 2011 to talk about the making of this eagerly awaited movie. It’s based on a terrifying real-life incident that occurred to his co-writer Andrew Wight while diving the remote Nullarbor cave-system in Australia. 

John, an experienced rebreather instructor,also appears in the movie and was the diving co-ordinator, so he has all the background.

Rich Stevenson (revisiting the development of deep wreck diving in the UK); Mark Powell (analysing DCI incidents in British club-diving to reduce the risk of them happening to us); and Jack Ingle (optimising kit configuration) are also likely to be big draws across the board.

TEK 2011 will appeal to all levels of diver. Although aimed primarily at experienced technical divers and recently qualified ones planning to do more, there will also be sessions for those wanting to find out what technical diving is all about and what equipment and training is available. It will take place in ExCeL’s purpose-built conference suites, which are ideal both for events attracting hundreds of delegates and also for smaller, more intimate gatherings.

TEK 2011 is just one of a range of special initiatives being introduced as part of the 10th-anniversary LIDS celebrations. These initiatives also reflect the fact that from next year the show will be fully independent – with the ability to represent all dive training agencies and the industry as a whole, in exactly the same way as the hugely successful NEC Birmingham Dive Show.

And LIDS is now fully independent for the first time, able to represent at ExCeL all dive training agencies and the industry as a whole, just like the hugely successful NEC Birmingham Dive Show, which is also organised by the DIVER Group.
So make a date to come along and share in the excitement and we will see you there.

New for 2011 – SDI Solo Diver Course

Over the last nine years I personally have seen many divers come through the doors of Emperor Divers and  Tekstreme. The experience range of the divers that I have seen stretches to both extremes; from the newly qualified open water diver with 4 dives to the experienced technical instructor with 4000 dives. What became apparent to me very early on in my guiding days, was that a certification card means nothing until you actually see the diver in the water. You can picture the scene, I am guiding on day one with a group of eight recreational guests ranging from open water divers to rescue divers (the divers could have come from any training agency I must stress!). Four buddy teams, what could be so difficult? Nothing is generally difficult on the boat (the odd upside down BCD attached to tank maybe, perhaps some tank bands not threaded correctly etc!), its only when the guests are in the water that the fun and games begin. Lack of buoyancy control, awareness of buddy, awareness of guide, coral, other divers, air, depth, decompression, the list goes on. These are certified divers! It makes you wonder if any of them actually self-sufficient and could handle themselves in an emergency in the correct manner. If I was in distress could any of them assist me? The answer to that, unfortunately, on many an occasion is no!

You would think that even when divers have gained enough experience and training to continue into technical diving that surely they must be self sufficient, have good buoyancy, and be in control! Unfortunately the answer again here is no for some! (not all, I must add)

Rogue instructors, recreational and technical dive centers are primarily to blame for these divers with questionable certifications. I do not personally blame the divers in question at all; it is the responsibility of the instructor to ensure mastery of skills, knowledge, independence and self reliance prior to certification.

As a direct result of any experiences that I have had, I do wonder how many divers out there have been on a diving trip and buddied up with somebody who clearly has no idea, no attention and no care for you as the buddy? Do you feel safe knowing that anything that happens in the water you must deal with on your own?

If the answer to that question is a honest no, you may want to try SDI’s Solo Diver Specialty.

Dive planning

 

“Who is SDI”? Well, SDI (Scuba Diving International) is the open water arm of TDI (Technical Diving International). TDI is the largest technical training organization in the world. SDI is now in a dead heat for the number two position among certifying agencies for the number of divers trained annually in the US. Their background in the technical field gives them a unique perspective to diving

The Solo Diver course is one of the most popular SDI specialties. It is one of the many innovative ideas that have been pioneered over the years. SDI is the only agency to teach the skills and equipment configuration necessary to safely pursue solo diving.

SDI has successfully promoted solo diving as an option for experienced sport divers engaged in certain activities. It is a program that is not suitable for every diver because divers must be willing to make the necessary commitment to train and equip themselves to manage the added risks independent diving involves.

 

Solo diver on the surface

 

What exactly is “solo diving”? To me a solo diver isn’t just someone who shows up at the dive site and jumps in. It is more complicated than that. If I am diving with a buddy who is unaware or unconcerned about my whereabouts, I am actually doing a form of solo diving.

 

Further, if you are more than a breath away from your buddy you may as well be alone as the results will be the same. The last two examples will put you at the same risk as the bloke who jumps in by himself and disappears.

 

The diver who just jumps in and solo dives without training is playing the fool’s game. He may have an over-inflated opinion as to his abilities to handle any problems he/she may encounter. Alternatively, a dependent buddy partnered with an unconcerned buddy is diving solo in total ignorance. He doesn’t realize that in the case of an emergency he may have to save himself. The problem is that he isn’t trained to do so. In the examples above, either buddy could have a problem, and being unprepared and untrained each diver is alone. When you read the dive accident and fatality statistics all the above described types of divers share the limelight.

 

Redundant air supply being attached to diver

 

The open water skill levels required for certification as an independent, unsupervised diver are severely lacking in adequate performance standards. Believe me, a near panicked diver is a handful for even the most expereinced professional.

 

Personally, I prefer to dive with a dive partner. I prefer someone to experience the dive with me. In my case, I know full well that a dive partner will be able to do very little for me in the case of an emergency due to time and depth constraints in some of the types of diving in which I am involved. Worse still is the fact that if I am not self-reliant and my buddy has to intercede, I am putting his/her life in jeopardy as well. This is totally unacceptable to me.

 

In the Solo Diver course, the experienced advanced diver candidate is made aware of the special needs in equipment, techniques and mental attitude needed to do this type of diving with minimum risk. Contrary to popular belief, even technical divers don’t dive alone. Solo diving can be similar to cave diving in that no amount of previous experience can prepare the uninitiated solo diver to what can, and does, transpire in an emergency situation. That is why the prerequisites for entry into the solo diver program are high.

Solo diver wreck diving

 

 

Solo diving is even more unsafe if you are not trained to execute solo dives. Everything we do carries risks. We attempt to mitigate these risks through knowledge. Knowledge really is power. In this case, that knowledge may be the power to live rather than perish. With that knowledge you will be able to avoid a turn of events that could cascade into a real life-threatening problem. Most dive injuries are not due to a major catastrophic failure of a piece of gear. They start with a simple problem which when ignored and not dealt with leads to a more serious threat. Completing this course empowers you with specific knowledge, enabling you to make a sound risk analysis when engaging in this type of diving

 

This course is ideally suited to those divers who looking to either develop their own sense of independence, or divers who are interested in getting into Technical diving, underwater photography or underwater videography.

The objective of this course is to train divers in the benefits, hazards and proper procedures for diving solo.  Upon successful completion of this course, graduates may engage in solo diving activities. (Defendant on local laws, regulations, dive center policies. I must stress at this point that Emperor Divers and Tekstreme do not allow any form of solo diving)

The enrolling students must meet the following criteria:

–        Minimum age:  21 years.

–        Minimum certification of Advanced Diver or equivalent.

–        Minimum of 100 logged dives.

–        Review and complete Medical History form and Liability Release form.

–        Review and complete Solo Diver Release form.

An emphasis of the course is the supply of an alternate air supply. By this we do not mean your own alternate air source, but an additional supply of gas. This can either be achieved in the use of carrying a pony bottle, diving in twin tanks, or diving with a dual outlet valve allowing for two regulators.

For those divers looking to potentially continue into technical diving, the introduction to twin set diving as a redundant air supply would be a great tool. For those looking to stay in recreational diving but to develop their independence then the use of a pony tank is more suitable. The course will run for two days and covers a variety of theoretical topics, practical applications and actual dives.

The course can be both challenging and enjoyable and a must for those divers looking to train themselves to the next level.

Courses available soon out of Hurghada.

For more information contact us at Tekstreme@emperordivers.com

 

What a busy couple of weeks!

Wow…what a busy couple of weeks Tekstreme are continuing to have!

 

Firstly we have to say we have to congratulate a few people on their achievements during the last couple of weeks…

Pierre Bacot – PADI Tec Deep Instructor Course

 

Sarah Lambert – PADI Tec 45 & 50 courses

 

Dave Hurring – PADI Tec 45 & 50 courses

 

Nigel Weightman – PADI Tec 40 & 45 courses

 

Liviu Preda – TDI Entry Trimix course

 

Shaun Fox – TDI Mod 2 Inspiration

 

Richard Priestly – PADI Tec 40 course

 

 

 

In between all the courses we found some time to spend with Charles Hood, to give him the diving that

he was looking for ready for DIVE magazine in the beginning of the New year. As soon as he was finished it was up to Only One Apnea centre to support Annelie on her free diving world record attempt, then as soon as that was finished it was back to more courses!! Crazy times.

At the end of this month we have the dive show to get ready for and then its back to back diving for all of us until the technical safari at the end of November!

 

When do we stop……never 🙂

Busy times!!

I have to admit it is probably been the busiest 12 days that I have had in a long time!

I have had the pleasure of Technical diving with Charles Hood, one of the key contributors, to DIVE magazine in UK. 10 dives in 11 days covering 5 resorts around Egypt.

Starting off in Hurghada, before heading down to Marsa Alam, then back up El Gouna, before a short flight over to Sharm, then onwards and upwards to Dahab before finishing back again in Sharm. What an intense, extensive time we have had.

The trip surprisingly for Egypt actually went exactly to plan, the weather was on our side from day one, in terms of lower winds and little currents, we were quite blessed.

I must extend a big thankyou to Johan, the manager from Sinai Divers up in Dahab for his hospitality and helping everything to run smooth up there.

I don’t want to give too much away about the article that Charles has now gone back home to write but lets just say its something a little bit different and hopefully will inspire a lot of divers to take the next step. Each month check out the DIVE magazine, but we think it will be published hopefully for December or January’s addition.

You can check out more work by Charles Hood by heading to his web site http://www.charleshood.com

Happy reading

Cat Parfitt

Tekstreme Diving Manager

Technical divers and free divers…opposites must attract!

Tekstreme are pleased to announce that once again they will be teaming up with well known and repected specialist apnea center “Only One ” based in Sharm El Sheikh.

Only One Apnea center

Soft, smooth, quiet, confident, serene, peaceful: all these adjectives hint at the intense pleasure well-trained freedivers feel. Without a mechanical breathing apparatus, you’re truly free—free to flow effortlessly into the womb-like, enveloping water, free to join the ocean not as a interloper but as a welcome friend. It’s the feeling of true ease and relaxation under the water.

Humans share special diving adaptations with marine mammals. The most dramatic is the “mammalian diving reflex.” Simply immersing your face in cold water causes a reflexive slowing of your heart rate. This, as well as other oxygen-sparing adaptations, helps to prolong your dives. Your spleen releases extra blood cells and blood vessels in your skin and large muscles constrict, reserving blood for more vital organs, namely your heart and brain. With the expertise of your instructors you will find that once you begin this jouney you will never want to leave it.

(Copyright © 2000 Terry Maas)

During October there will be tension, excitement and exhileration as one of the Free diving world records is set to be challenged. To acheieve such a feat it takes years of commitment. The competitor and the event will be announced to the public very soon.

The superb facilities that Only One Apnea Centre  provide will be the back drop for the challenge with Teksteme’s technical divers there ready in support. It truely is a team effort.

To the undisclosed competitor and to the undisclosed event we wish you all the best.

Keep up to date with our blog right by here, or the facebook groups of  “Tekstreme diving” or “Only One” to see what happens.

Where to find unbiased, good information…

For those of us that have been living in Egypt for many years and around the diving industry for way too long it was a pleasure to come across a magazine that is specific to the local area of the Red Sea but without being biased and single company driven.

The concept of the magaizine was created and developed by two expereicned diving professionals; James Dawson and Anders Jälmsjö. Both of these guys have had the great experience of working all over the Red Sea through the opening of being safari guides along with working for larger dive operators from land based dive centres.

Between them they have so much information to provide to the reader that for sure each edition is going to be rammed packed full with new exciting articles.

They say that their main aim is to be able to provide accurate, reliable, non-biased information to the public. They want their magazine not to be exclusive but they want to be seen to represent the best of the diving community, a magazine you can trust.

The magazine is an online magazine, so costs the reader nothing but a few minutes of your time to download it and will be coming out bi-monthly.

You can download your copy of the first edition simply by heading to: http://www.aziabmedia.com/html/the_equalizer.html

From that page simply right click on the magazine and safe it where you want.

For me it was a pleasure to read the magazine and i look forward to the next edition.

Well Done boys.